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Energy contract planning for 2026 onwards set to start

A report to Cabinet is recommending that Liverpool City Council starts working now on its plan to buy energy from 2026 onwards, to ensure it secures a competitive deal from renewable sources.

The Council has a contract for gas and electricity until March 2025 with Crown Commercial Services. It is a Public Buying Organisation (PBO) and buys energy on behalf of organisations, including local authorities. The Council decided last year to opt for a fixed rate deal, which has delivered savings of £3.2 million against the forecast budget in 2023/24. It is recommended that this contract is also rolled over to 2025-26.

The proposal to the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 20 February is for the Council to be given permission to assess the market for the best value and lowest risk options offered by PBOs. They have bulk purchasing power and can secure favourable rates.

The procurement work will also examine options for greener electricity to reduce the amount of C02, as part of the Council’s ambition to achieve Net Zero by 2030.

The contract also covers schools in Liverpool which have signed up to be part of the Council’s contract, as well as Mersey Fire and Rescue Service buildings.

The move has been welcomed by the Government Commissioners, who have described it as a “timely and organised approach”.

Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Councillor Ruth Bennett, said: “This forward planning is all part of the Council’s improvement journey, making sure we give ourselves the time and space to make considered decisions, so we get the best value for residents and partners.

“We have already made significant savings over the last year thanks to the prudent decision to lock into a fixed rate deal in 2023.

“This is an opportunity to take a good look at the market and weigh up the opportunities and risks, before making a decision on our options for 2026 onwards.”

Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Growth and Economy, said: “Reducing energy consumption in our buildings and securing power from renewable sources is key to the Council achieving Net Zero by 2030, helping tackle the climate emergency.

“I very much welcome this planned approach to renewing our energy contracts to put us in the strongest possible position to deliver on our commitments and make sure we get good value for residents.”

Liverpool Waterfront